When the Department of Veterans Affairs sent Helena Perry a 59-cent bill for her deceased World War II veteran husband's unpaid balance, she thought it was "hilarious" and decided not to pay it. But now the VA wants Perry to send $50 it says is still owed for outpatient care her husband David Perry received – more than one year ago.
"So now, the balance is fifty dollars and fifty-nine cents," Perry said. "[T]o avoid late charges, to pay by [Nov. 20, 2014]," she added. And while Perry said the whole thing is "kind of funny," she also called it "ridiculous."
Perry, who lives in Avondale, Pennsylvania, called the VA and spoke with a call center representative named Sean who said he was in the Midwest. Perry said Sean told her that if she receives any more VA bills to send them back to him unopened.
But there was one problem with that idea.
"It's a Wilmington [Delaware] address on it. And if you're in Kansas, you're not going to get it there, are you?" Perry asked.
"Oh," Sean said. After that, Perry said she told him "thanks" and to "have a good day."
Perry has received several letters from the VA, addressed to her deceased husband and to be opened "by addressee only." But Perry acknowledged that would be "kind of hard" for her husband to do, so she went ahead and opened them. Perry received a notice of eligibility for VA benefits about two months ago. Several days later she received a bill for 59 cents and on September 4, she got a reminder for her late husband to get a flu shot.
A spokesperson for the VA said the department “is reviewing” what happened when asked about the case last month, but did not offer a comment on Perry’s specific case.
The VA did not immediately respond to questions asking whether any updates have been made available since last month.
(H/T: Wilmington News Journal)
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